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Johnny Depp claims he’s a victim of cancel culture amid $50m defamation lawsuit

Johnny Depp has claimed he has become a victim of cancel culture, warning that ‘no one is safe’ and urging those affected to ‘stand up’ for themselves. 

Speaking in the Spanish city of San Sebastian, before accepting an honorary award at the film festival, Depp, 58, said the situation had become ‘so out of hand.’ 

In July 2020 he lost a high-profile case at the High Court in London, after The Sun newspaper described him as a ‘wife beater’ and he sued. His ex-wife Amber Heard filed for divorce in 2016, accusing him of verbal and physical abuse, and she testified in London.

Depp lost his lucrative role in the Fantastic Beasts franchise in the aftermath of the case. 

Back in the U.S., Depp has recently won the right to proceed with a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard.  

Depp told the audience in Spain that he saw himself as a victim, and was concerned about the wider implications for society.

Johnny Depp, 58, claimed on Wednesday that he is a victim of cancel culture – speaking in Spain, ahead of accepting the prestigious Donostia Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival

Depp has won the right to sue Heard (pictured in November 2011) in a $50 million libel case after a Virginia judge threw out the actress's plea to dismiss the suit

Depp has won the right to sue Heard (pictured in November 2011) in a $50 million libel case after a Virginia judge threw out the actress’s plea to dismiss the suit

Heard claimed that Depp had attacked her, and her legal team showed photos alleging abuse

Heard claimed that Depp had attacked her, and her legal team showed photos alleging abuse

Ahead of taking to the stage to accept his award, Depp offered his thoughts on cancel culture, and called on people to ‘stand up’ for those facing ‘injustice.’

‘It can be seen as an event in history that lasted for however long it lasted, this cancel culture, this instant rush to judgement based on what essentially amounts to polluted air,’ he said, according to Deadline

‘It’s so far out of hand now that I can promise you that no one is safe. Not one of you. No one out that door. No one is safe.

‘It takes one sentence and there’s no more ground, the carpet has been pulled.’

Depp said that his concern was not just for himself.

‘It’s not just me that this has happened to, it’s happened to a lot of people,’ he said. 

‘This type of thing has happened to women, men.’

He said: ‘It doesn’t matter if a judgement, per se, has taken some artistic license. 

‘When there’s an injustice, whether it’s against you or someone you love, or someone you believe in – stand up, don’t sit down. Cause they need you.’ 

The actor vowed that 'no one is safe' from the movement because it has become 'so out of hand,' as he arrived for a photo call during the awards ceremony

The actor vowed that ‘no one is safe’ from the movement because it has become ‘so out of hand,’ as he arrived for a photo call during the awards ceremony

Ahead of taking to the stage to accept his award, Depp offered his thoughts on cancel culture, and called on people to 'stand up' for those facing 'injustice'

Ahead of taking to the stage to accept his award, Depp offered his thoughts on cancel culture, and called on people to ‘stand up’ for those facing ‘injustice’

Depp said: 'It can be seen as an event in history that lasted for however long it lasted, this cancel culture, this instant rush to judgement'

Depp said: ‘It can be seen as an event in history that lasted for however long it lasted, this cancel culture, this instant rush to judgement’

Depp was reported by Deadline to be happy to answer questions about the recent state of his career, amid his ongoing lawsuit against Heard.

But when a reporter asked about Spain’s Association of Female Filmmakers and Audiovisual Media, which released a statement saying the award ‘transmits a terrible message to the public’, a festival organizer stepped in and prevented him replying, insisting he would only speak about his career.

Depp later said that he was ‘worried’ that his presence at the festival would ‘offend people,’ and insisted he ‘didn’t want to offend anyone.’ 

He praised the event, its director Jose Luis Rebordinos, and the mayor of San Sebastian for their ‘undying support’.

He thanked them for ‘not buying what has been, for far too long, some notion of me that doesn’t exist’.

Depp added: ‘I haven’t done anything, I just make movies.’

Depp added: 'It's so far out of hand now that I can promise you that no one is safe. Not one of you. No one out that door. No one is safe'

Depp added: ‘It’s so far out of hand now that I can promise you that no one is safe. Not one of you. No one out that door. No one is safe’

The actor went onto say: 'It takes one sentence and there's no more ground, the carpet has been pulled,' and claimed it's happened to 'a lot of people'

The actor went onto say: ‘It takes one sentence and there’s no more ground, the carpet has been pulled,’ and claimed it’s happened to ‘a lot of people’

Depp said that he was dismayed by the current state of the film industry, in particular how streaming had taken off.

He said many people – him included – realized they were disposable. 

‘Hollywood is certainly not what it was,’ he responded. 

‘The studio system, the grudge matches, the pandemonium and chaos of cinematic releases to streaming… it is a case of, ‘no matter what, I’m going to get mine’. 

‘That’s where these people are coming from.

‘They realize they’re just a disposable as I am. Some more so. 

‘Large, large corporations take control of these things. As someone who takes part in the creation of cinema, how much more formula do we need from the likes of studios? How much more condescension do we need as audiences? 

‘I think that Hollywood has grotesquely underestimated the audience.’ 

Depp was asked about the future of his Pirates of the Caribbean role of Captain Jack Sparrow, and said that the character would never leave him, and that no one could ever take the character away from him. 

He then delighted the crowd with an impromptu Captain Jack impression, Deadline reported. 

Despite the mixed reception to his arrival at the festival, Depp was in high spirits as he headed to the photo call ahead of his acceptance of the award. 

His appearance in Spain came a month after he was cleared by a court to proceed with the $50 million defamation suit against Heard.

In August, a Virginia judge ruled that he can proceed with the litigation, based on a 2018 Washington Post op-ed she wrote saying she was a domestic violence survivor.

She did not mention Depp in the story, though she publicly accused him of abusing her in their 2016 split. 

Depp and Heard are pictured at the premiere of The Rum Diary - the film on whose set they met in 2009. The pair married in February 2015, and divorced a year later

Depp and Heard are pictured at the premiere of The Rum Diary – the film on whose set they met in 2009. The pair married in February 2015, and divorced a year later

Depp later added that he was 'worried' that his presence at the festival would 'offend people'

He added that he 'didn't want to offend anyone'

Depp later added that he was ‘worried’ that his presence at the festival would ‘offend people,’ and insisted he ‘didn’t want to offend anyone’

Despite the mixed reception to his arrival at the festival, Depp was in high spirits as he headed to the photocall ahead of his acceptance of the award

Despite the mixed reception to his arrival at the festival, Depp was in high spirits as he headed to the photocall ahead of his acceptance of the award

It comes after Depp was cleared by a court to proceed with a $50 million defamation suit against ex-wife Amber Heard

It comes after Depp was cleared by a court to proceed with a $50 million defamation suit against ex-wife Amber Heard

The actor is trying to clear his name after losing a defamation suit against The Sun.

His U.S. suit, filed in Fairfax County, Virginia, accuses Heard of creating a ‘hoax’ account of abuse.

Heard had requested the libel suit against her, filed in March 2019, be thrown out, claiming the ruling in the UK case should swing any new cases in her favor because they both relate to domestic abuse allegations against Depp.

But Judge Penny Azcarate ruled the statements made by The Sun and Heard were ‘inherently different’, and said the case should proceed. 

The ruling stated: ‘The Sun’s interests were based on whether the statements the newspaper published were false.

‘[Heard’s] interests relate to whether the statements she published were false.’

The ruling also noted that Depp filed the defamation suit against The Sun before Heard’s op-ed was published – and that she was not named in the case against the British paper.

In the December 2018 op-ed, the actress wrote: ‘I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.’

In August, a Virginia judge ruled that he can proceed with the litigation, based on a 2018 Washington Post op-ed Heard wrote

In August, a Virginia judge ruled that he can proceed with the litigation, based on a 2018 Washington Post op-ed Heard wrote

The actor is trying to clear his name after losing a defamation suit against The Sun after the paper branded him a 'wife-beater' amid allegations of domestic abuse

The actor is trying to clear his name after losing a defamation suit against The Sun after the paper branded him a ‘wife-beater’ amid allegations of domestic abuse

Depp is pictured on July 29, 2020, outside the High Court in London during the case

Depp is pictured on July 29, 2020, outside the High Court in London during the case

Amber Heard is seen outside court in London on July 28, 2020

Amber Heard is seen outside court in London on July 28, 2020

The UK’s High Court ruled against Depp following an explosive three-week trial last July, finding allegations the actor was a ‘wife beater’ were ‘substantially true.’

Lawyers for The Pirates of the Caribbean star had asked two Court of Appeal judges to grant permission for him to challenge the ruling, with the aim of having its findings overturned and a second trial ordered.

They claimed the judge in Depp’s initial libel trial had not ‘factually’ considered all the allegations of violence against him and that they had ‘fresh evidence’ Heard had ‘lied’ about giving her entire $7 million divorce settlement to charity.

They said that the charity claim influenced how her testimony was viewed, but the Court of Appeal ruled that it did not have an impact on the judge and that he would have reached the same conclusion on Heard being the victim of domestic violence.

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